I watched Mario Batali on ABC's Good Morning America create a dish with ramps and asparagus. I've never seen ramps in any of the markets I shop in, so I substituted scallions (green onions) and created an Easter dinner for CW and me. We'll have family and friends next week for a big feast, but this meal became a perfect dinner and expression of spring for the wife and me. Mario mixed his veggies with a cheese stuffed pasta,but I decided to make mine with a pesto flavor.
First prepare your asparagus by peeling the stems, then cutting them
into pieces about one and a half inches long. Trim the root end of the
scallions and cut them similarly discarding any green ends that appear wilted.
While your pasta is boiling, blanch the scallions in boiling salted water for
about a minute, then plunge them into cold water to preserve their color
and to stop the cooking process. They should still be firm but not taste raw.
The combination of choosing thin asparagus and peeling them before
blanching makes them cook quickly, so watch them. Drain them into
a cold water bath, and prepare the pan for the pasta. Dry it and set it
on high heat. I used Trader Joe's frozen basil cubes which are great to
have on hand. Simply fry a clove of garlic and add the veggies, pasta
and a few cubes of basil to the pan with a half cup of cooking water.
Sorry, no pictures because I only have two hands and I also prepared
the salad at the same time as the pasta (I know, I'm a wonder!). You've
seen me do this before, haven't you? The pasta cooks for its last minute
in the pan absorbing the flavors of the veggies and basil and becoming
perfectly al dente. Then, off the heat, add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of
your finest extra virgin olive oil and some beautiful fresh grated parmogiana
A blessed Easter to all!